One World Cup fan managed to bag herself a modelling contract after going viral on cameras at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Axelle Despiegelaere, a Belgium supporter, was snapped cheering on the nation ahead of their second group game against Russia, which they won 1-0. She was wearing a devil horn hat with the colours of her country on, in honour of their Red Devils nickname, and had a pair of pom poms in her hand.
Axelle was joined by two of her fellow blonde friends, but she appeared to stand out as she became the sole focus for photographers inside the legendary Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro.
The images quickly went viral with the teen labelled football’s “most beautiful supporter” and the World Cup’s “sexiest fan”, and were jumped upon by French cosmetics company L’Oreal who handed her a modelling contract.
Axelle appeared in a social media campaign which included her giving a “hair tutorial” video and looked to have landed herself a career for life after the World Cup came to an end. But the contract swiftly came to an end when she posted a picture of herself next to what appeared to be a dead oryx.
“Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that..this was about one year ago..ready to hunt Americans today haha,” she captioned the Facebook post.
After receiving heavy backlash in her comments section, Axelle later added: “I didn’t mean to offend anyone..it was a joke.”
But much like Belgium, who beat the USA 2-1 but lost 1-0 to Argentina in the quarter-finals, her dream was over.
L’Oreal cut ties with her soon after, with some guessing the hunting snap had something to do with it.
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A spokesperson for the company told The Independent: “L’Oréal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium. The contract has now been completed.”
Despite that, she still got to make a pitchside appearance at a Club Brugge game, the club she supports, the following month.
Eight years on, Axelle still poses for pictures for her 25,600 Instagram followers, reports the DailyStar.
And although Belgium have already been dumped out of the World Cup in Qatar, there was no danger of her making an appearance anyway – as she recently got married to partner Emile Steyart.